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For the third season in a row, the Townsend Harris Girls Varsity Volleyball Team has a new member calling the plays from the sidelines.
After putting off the coaching opportunity for several years, Pedro Medina finally decided to accept the offer. Having played the sport for 17 years, Mr. Medina will have a new role, calling plays from the sideline instead of on the court. In response to this change, Mr. Medina said, “It’s definitely very different than being a player and being on the other side of the spectrum because as a player you’re there to play and leave everything on the court and as a coach you have to guide them and show them fundamentals and the step by step info to teach them.”
Yet Mr. Medina’s long background with the sport makes him very comfortable with this switch. “The new season will be a learning experience for everyone and despite being my first year as a coach, I believe that my experience as a player has prepared me for the upcoming season,” Coach Medina said.
His experience is not only giving the former coach confidence but the players as well. “Compared to previous coaches, he knows what he’s talking about; he’s been in the same position as us being out there on the court, and knows how to physically and mentally prepare us for anything that can happen in a game,” stated sophomore Agnes Poplawski.
Sophomore Josselyn Navas continued to compliment Mr. Medina’s knowledge of the game. Josselyn noted how his experience as a libero has helped the team already, as everyone’s passing has improved. “I’m definitely glad to have a new coach because he’s helped me grow as a player and learn different strategies on the court,” she said.
Moreover, the players have shown to be more dedicated in the new workout routines that the coach had in place for them during practice. “It’s refreshing to have a coach that is experienced in volleyball and shows a lot of passion for the game,” stated senior Tanja Miketic.
Senior captain Leann Senat is also happy with the new switch as Mr. Medina “shows lots of potential so I think we have a good season coming up.”
Coach Medina played Division III volleyball for State University of New York at New Paltz as a libero from 2004-2008. As a sophomore, he was named State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Spring Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete. By his senior year, he had the school record of digs with more than 1000, a record that still lives today.
“The game is so therapeutic to me,” says Coach Medina. “Now that I am so old, I have learned to enjoy every moment and leave everything on the court. I plan to pass down this mentality to the young group of girls I will be coaching this season.”